Customer service is often the edge that separates the businesses that survive from those that don’t.
In today’s economy, it’s often customer service that differentiates between businesses that survive and those that don’t.
While tough economic circumstances might tempt you to prioritise profit over service, in the long run, it won’t deliver the customer base and loyalty you’ll need to survive through lean periods.
Unless you’re a tech wizard with a totally unique product, you’ll be entering a market saturated with businesses selling the same things as you – especially as you have to compete with services delivered online. Customer service can give you the edge you need to stand out.
The numbers don’t lie
Think of customer service as unique added value you can bring to your customers, at relatively little cost to yourself.
It costs, on average, 5 times as much to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Existing customers are many times more likely to buy your products than new ones, and businesses with good customer service save time thanks to fewer complaints and better staff retention.
And remember that bad service is remembered. As Warren Buffet once quipped: it takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.
You are what you serve
Good customer service also helps your business shape its brand. At XLN, the fact that our customer service is much better than our competitors is a key part of our whole image and ethos.
For us, good service has meant good reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations and an incredibly high customer retention rate for our industry. Plus, it feels good to be thanked and loved by loyal customers – and it also means our teams are happier and more motivated on behalf of the business.
There’s also a benefit to going beyond simply “good” customer service, and trying to deliver something unique that you’ll be remembered for.
Warby Parker, an eyeglasses company, made it into Forbes when one of its staff members spotted someone leaving their Warby Parker glasses on the train, then tracked that person down and returned the lost glasses, plus an extra pair.
That’s the kind of publicity money can’t buy, and it’s a positive association that plays out with every customer you serve well.